Updated: May 19
It’s time to determine who will become the next holder of the Money in the Bank briefcase as we head into another empty-arena pay-per-view. WWE has hopefully learned from the two best matches from WWE WrestleMania 36 (Undertaker & AJ Styles’ boneyard match and Bray Wyatt & John Cena’s Firefly Funhouse match) and will be putting a cinematic spin on the Money in the Bank matches as they were filmed throughout WWE Headquarters and the ladders (and briefcases) are literally on the roof of WWE HQ. Of course that technically means that the winners of those briefcases will be miles away from the Performance Center so in theory will not be able to cash in the night of, but with the use of movie magic (or Firefly Funhouse magic?) you never know what will be possible.
We’ve tabulated our staff’s previews picks from the last two shows and our current standings are:
Kyle: 18-5 (or 78%)
Tim: 1-1 (or 50%)
Who will survive!?
If you want to watch live on Sunday, you’ll want to subscribe to the WWE Network. Until then, here’s your Quixotronic preview of the show.
Card Matches, Hopes, and Dreams:
WWE Smackdown Tag Team Titles Match: Forgotten Sons (Steve Cutler & Wesley Blake) vs John Morrison & Miz vs Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado) vs New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) ©
The Background: John Morrison successfully defended his tag team titles by himself (?) at WWE WrestleMania 36, so obviously Miz had to defend their titles again in another triple threat singles match (??) on the April 17th Smackdown against Big E and Jey Uso with E scoring the winning pin and the titles for the New Day. Since then the Lucha House Party successfully pinned the old champs on the April 24th Smackdown and the Forgotten Sons (newly drafted to Smackdown from NXT) successfully pinned the new champs on the May 1st Smackdown. Now we’re going to throw them all together because (???)
Fanboy Fantasy: I would love to see Lucha House Party sneak out a win here. They were very enjoyable back in the Elimination Chamber match in February and could be fun for a few weeks with the gold. The Forgotten Sons were also lost in the shuffle in NXT so hopefully a new home will help and hopefully they’ll show us something here. I’d have Morrison take the pin to start off my theoretical Morrison/Miz feud that still hasn’t happened somehow. Plus then we can get Kofi and more importantly Big E (and Xavier Woods when he returns) into a nice singles push potentially against Sami Zayn (and Cesaro and Nakamura). Give me my trios feud over the Intercontinental title! If the tag titles can change hands in a 3-way singles match then why can’t we have 2 3-man teams feud over a singles belt?
Fanboy Prediction: New Day - I suspect New Day will hold onto the titles at least until Woods returns from injury. Then you can have an easy set up for drama if you must though New Day should never break up. Never ever.
Tim: Miz and Morrison - I’m pretty sure I said I’d never pick against Johnny either and I’m a man of my word.
WWE Smackdown Women’s Title Match: Tamina vs Bayley ©
The Background: Tamina, despite being the first eliminated in their WWE WrestleMania 36 match, has failed upwards by winning a singles match against Sasha Banks on the April 17th Smackdown to win a one-on-one shot against Bayley.
Fanboy Prediction: Bayley - I’m still not sold on Tamina being a threat to the title. The endgame should be Bayley and Banks for the title someday, and I see no need for a pit stop with Tamina.
From the Quixotronic Bullpen:
Tim: Tamina - I thought Bayley was gonna lose at Wrestlemania. She’s due.
WWE Universal Title Match: Bray Wyatt vs Braun Strowman ©
The Background: After a brief re-feud with Shinsuke Nakamura on the April 10th Smackdown, Bray Wyatt called out Braun and his Universal title and invited the new champ into the Firefly Funhouse. There’s no indication that this will be anything but a normal title match, but one can dream. Based on the history of these two and the fact that Strowman debuted as a member of the Wyatt Family lends to the feud though it still seems like little build beyond a call out.
Fanboy Fantasy: I would give them 5 or 10 minutes where Braun tries to smash the Fiend but we get the unstoppable Wyatt who kicks out at 1 after multiple finishers. Then the Fiend transforms back into children’s host Bray Wyatt, smiles, shakes Strowman’s hand, and then lays down for a too-easy 3 count. Strowman’s confused, but takes his title and heads up the ramp. Then halfway up he stops and appears unable to move. Wyatt transforms back into the Fiend, teleports up the ramp to Strowman, and then both teleport away together. Wyatt/Fiend become Strowman’s mouthpiece and handler where Wyatt now controls the Monster Among Men (™) and the title but doesn’t have to do any of the work. Plus, Smackdown seems pretty set up with everyone being paired off with allies (New Day, Artists Collective, Bryan/Gulak, etc) so yet another pairing (or trio down the line) could be a welcome addition. Hell, Bo Dallas has nothing to do now that Curtis Axel got released so throw him in with his brother and the two monsters have the perfect pawn to literally throw at their challengers.
Fanboy Prediction: Bray Wyatt - I expect some course correction from the Goldberg mistake and WWE gets the title back on the Fiend for the time being. I think it would be a shame to take it off Strowman so quickly but what are you gonna do.
From the Quixotronic Bullpen:
Tim: Bray Wyatt - I’m still shook from Firefly Funhouse and I’m afraid if I pick against Wyatt The Fiend will get me. HE’s the only thing scarier than murder hornets.
The Background: Drew McIntyre slayed the beast at this year’s WWE WrestleMania 36. Rollins, though a beast slayer himself at WWE WrestleMania 35, came up short against Kevin Owens at that same show. So what does that mean? Clearly Rollins failed upwards (the second participant to do so!) into a WWE World title shot. On the April 20th Raw McIntyre at least framed it as Rollins’ career showed he was worthy of a title show, so at least they acknowledged it. Since then we had the obligatory contract signing and Rollins has since used his disciple Buddy Murphy as a human shield. Or would that be a human Shield (™)?
Fanboy Fantasy: McIntyre needs a good strong win, and Rollins still has enough credibility to serve up that strong win for McIntyre. I would love for them to each start out the match as if they’re both facing Lesnar (because that should be mentioned?) and have them each hit their finishers 4 or 5 times and each kick out. Then they eye each other, shake it out, have the announce team acknowledge that this is how each beat Lesnar, and then go for a nice 15 minute back and forth match before McIntyre gets the win. Nothing flashy here, I just want a good match.
Fanboy Prediction: Drew McIntyre - there’s no reason to take the strap off McIntyre right away and he should be able to hold onto the belt at least until he can be champ in front of an audience, however long that may be.
From the Quixotronic Bullpen:
Tim: Drew McIntyre - Duh.
Money in the Bank(s) Ladder(s) Match(es): AJ Styles vs Aleister Black vs Apollo Crews vs Asuka vs Baron Corbin vs Carmella vs Dana Brooke vs Daniel Bryan vs Lacey Evans vs Nia Jax vs Otis Dozovic vs Rey Mysterio vs Shayna Baszler
The Background: Over on Raw, Asuka defeated Ruby Riott, Shayna Baszler defeated (recently released) Sarah Logan, and Nia Jax returned and defeated (and maybe murdered?) Kairi Sane to qualify for the women’s match; the Face-breaker has since been shown to be a dominant and dangerous combatant, both in storylines and potentially for Kairi Sane in real life. Aleister Black defeated Austin Theory, Apollo Crews (moved from Smackdown to Raw) defeated MVP, and Rey Mysterio defeated Buddy Murphy to qualify for the men’s match; on the April 27th Raw Crews was injured during a WWE United States title match with Andrade and pulled from the match only to have AJ Styles return from the dead to win a last chance gauntlet match on the May 4th Raw. On Smackdown, Dana Brooke defeated Naomi, Lacey Evans defeated Sasha Banks, and Carmella defeated Mandy Rose to qualify for the women’s match. Daniel Bryan defeated Cesaro, Baron Corbin defeated Drew Gulak, and Otis defeated Dolph Ziggler to qualify for the men’s match. Why is this all clumped together despite it being two matches and inter gender wrestling not being a thing in WWE? Because by gawd the two matches will be occurring throughout the WWE headquarters and all 12 participants will make their way through the halls and up to ladders on the roof at the same time. Did someone say they wanted more power? Tim Allen grunt?
Fanboy Fantasy(s): This should be going on the entirety of the show and have them continually cut back to WWE HQ to show bits and pieces of the match(es) in between and during the other matches. It should be a goddamned mess and be treated as such. If the Edge/Orton match proved anything it’s that even if it’s good, a 40+ match with no audience doesn’t work, so spread this out into a billion tiny bites. In the end I would go with Aleister Black and Shayna Baszler - Black can silently carry the case and even defend his ownership of it for a few months until formerly challenging McIntyre at a future PPV. Baszler can do the opposite(-ish) by stalking Lynch for weeks at a time, beat her with the briefcase whenever she feels like it but not actually cash in until she’s ready because she only wants to inflict pain.
Fanboy Prediction(s): AJ Styles and Nia Jax - as much as I’d prefer Aleister Black and Shayna Baszler, I just don’t see them trying to actually elevate anyone. Styles and Jax are both former champions, but also are both heels and the dynamic of the cash-in relates better to a “bad guy.” Styles, fresh off his return from the dead, could probably have fun teasing the use of his cash-in for months without needing to actually do it. Jax, on the other hand, formerly teamed with Tamina who is currently feuding with Bayley and Sasha Banks - perhaps throwing Jax with the briefcase into that feud could do… something?
From the Quixotronic Bullpen:
Tim: Otis and Asuka - I am a romantic, therefore I root for Otis. You get it Otis. Here is a rundown of the times you can expect me to pick against Asuka:
End of List.
Now here is an Asuka gif to brighten your day: